Cuba: Castro regime cracks down on entrepreneurs, shuts down independent small businesses

You hear a lot about dictator Raul Castro’s so-called economic reforms opening the doors to capitalism in Cuba’s totalitarian communist state. In reality, however, these “reforms” have nothing to do with liberalizing the economy on the island. Instead, they are just another way for the apartheid Castro regime to cash in on the extensive black market that has existed in Cuba for decades.

Since the Cuban dictatorship controls virtually all aspects of the nation’s economy, they were not about to allow independent businesses or entrepreneurs to engage in trade without giving their “cut” to the regime in Havana. Like a mafia, the Castro dictatorship crime family requires everyone to pay protection and kick up profits to the crime boss. And if anyone in Cuba dares to do business without paying their “fees” to the big boss, they are dealt with quickly and harshly.

Via Café Fuerte (my translation):

Police raid crowded marketplace in Havana
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Plastic bags filled with merchandise seized during the police raid last week at the La Cuevita market.

HAVANA – As part of a police offensive against illegal sales and unauthorized businesses, agents finally got around to the unofficial marketplace La Cuevita, which is the most popular buying spot for businesspeople and consumers in Havana.

The raid had been expected for quite a while and finally took place last week with a large deployment of officers from the Technical Department of Investigations from the Interior Ministry along with members of the so-called Directorate of Inspection, Supervision, and Control of the local government.

“This is the end; after this raid no one is going to continue taking the risk and the place will lose its natural attraction, which was finding items at lower prices than in the dollar-only stores,” said a regular visitor to the marketplace who witnessed the raid.

The marketplace, which is located in the Calzada de San Miguel in the municipality of San Miguel del Padron, stretches 12 blocks of the well-known neighborhood and had become a essential market alternative for the self-employed, the resellers, and the public in general from the area.

Continue reading (in Spanish) HERE.